Books authored by Dr. James Dyet. Purchase on

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Victory Lies Just Beyond the Bunker

Every golfer has been there: in a sand trap, behind a tree, in a gully, in a thick rough, in a bunker. At such times we can decide to sell our clubs, give them away, or relax, keep the head down, and play a recovery shot that our golf buddies will recall for a long time.

A plaque in a bunker in the rough, off the left side of the 17th fairway at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s in Blackpool, England, bears silent testimony to a historic and dramatic recovery shot. Playing in the 1926 Open Championship and tied with Al Watrous, Bobby Jones Jr. hit a 5 iron out of the bunker’s sand. The ball sailed 170 yards over the rough and landed on the green, inside Watrous’s second shot. Jones parred the hole. Apparently, Watrous was so unnerved by Jones’s recovery shot that he three-putted and lost the championship and its $100,000 prize.

Sometimes in spite of our best efforts to follow the straight and narrow path God has marked out for us in His Word, we wander into a bunker, and feel like giving up. Fortunately, God grants recovery shots. Our greatest victory may lie just beyond the bunker.

Peter was determined to follow the Lord closely. Courageously, but self-confidently, he boasted he would never deny the Lord (Matthew 26:35). But later, when the Lord was arrested and subjected to an illegal trial, Peter denied three times that he was one of the Lord’s followers. He failed to confess Christ even in the presence of a young servant girl (vv. 69-74). Peter had fallen into a bunker, and he might have stayed there a long time if our Lord wasn’t such a master of recovery shots.

Following His resurrection, Jesus restored Peter to Himself and commissioned him to feed His sheep (John 21:15-17). Not long after this restoration, Peter preached to a massive crowd of Jews gathered in Jerusalem for the Feast of Pentecost. Three thousand in the audience responded by believing on Christ (Acts 2:14-41). Peter’s greatest victory had occurred just beyond the bunker.

Hebrews 10:35 cheers us on to victory: “Do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” No matter how impossible a challenge seems today, trust God to turn it into an opportunity to manifest His power. He can get you out of the bunker in fine shape.

—From Out of the Rough by Jim Dyet © 1996, Thomas Nelson Publishers

No comments: